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Gun Trusts Offer Flexibility

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Why Do I Need A Gun Trust?

There are several advantages to having a gun trust. A gun trust protects what protects your family and your rights. Ultimately, a gun trust is for the protection, transition and possession of your firearms. In addition, a gun trust allows for multiple people to possess firearms regulated by the National Firearms Act, and subsequent Federal regulation, in order to avoid accidental felonies. Each of the issues listed below is an advantage Palmetto Gun Trust offers.

Estate Planning

Like a traditional trust, a gun trust allows for the transition of your property on your terms. You name the beneficiaries you want to receive your firearms. This is especially important when considering Federally-regulated firearms, interstate transfers and the people you want to have the firearms. Whether it’s a collection, heirlooms or NFA items, a trust allows for multi-generational use of your firearms while avoiding the probate process. Additionally, the trust can be revoked or amended at any time.

Property Management

The flexibility of determining who can access your firearms isn’t limited to your firearms. Any firearm-related property can be included in the trust such as optics, ammunition and accessories. Also, property can be added or removed from the trust at any time.

Multiple Person Possession

A trust allows multiple people to possess and access firearms. In the case of NFA firearms, the trust allows for designated trustees and beneficiaries to utilize the NFA firearms, instead of only the transferee on the Form 1 or Form 4. With a trust, trustees and beneficiaries can be added or removed at any time, allowing for flexibility of possession.

Privacy Concerns

Unlike corporate ownership of NFA items, a trust does not require any public filings, either state or local. Also, unlike items listed in a personal property memorandum of a standard will, the contents of a trust are not subject to the probate process. Only the BATFE receives a copy of your trust when you submit a Form 1 or Form 4.

Avoid Accidental Felonies

Firearms are not like other property such as stocks or cars. Certain people are unable to own firearms, various state laws deny the possession of certain firearms, magazines and ammunition and, in the case of NFA firearms, only the transferee on the Form 1 or Form 4 may possess the firearm. Transferring possession of your firearms or allowing someone access to NFA firearms can be a felony. A gun trust allows you to transfer or share ownership while avoiding felonies.

Legal Services

The Law Offices of Michael A. Graham provides all legal services, including consultation and trust drafting. Visit for details.


The “NFA Six”

The National Firearms Act, as well as subsequent Federal legislation and regulation, defines six categories of firearms, the possession of which is regulated and monitored by the BATFE. (See 26 U.S.C. 5845; 27 CFR 479.11 and the ATF Guidebook)

We outline the NFA Six below.


For the purposes of the National Firearms Act the term Machinegun means:

  • Any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot,automatically more than one shot without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger
  • The frame or receiver of any such weapon
  • Any part designed and intended solely and exclusively or combination of parts designed and intended for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun, or
  • Any combination of parts from which a machinegun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person.

Short-Barreled Rifle

A rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length or a weapon made from a rifle if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length.

Short-Barreled Shotgun

A shotgun having a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length or a weapon made from a shotgun if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length.

AOW (Any Other Weapon)

  • Any weapon or device capable of being concealed on the person from which a shot can be discharged through the energy of an explosive;
  • A pistol or revolver having a barrel with a smooth bore designed or redesigned to fire a fixed shotgun shell;
  • Weapons with combination shotgun and rifle barrels 12 inches or more, less than 18 inches in length, from which only a single discharge can be made from either barrel without manual reloading; and
  • Any such weapon which may be readily restored to fire.

Such term shall not include a pistol or a revolver having a rifled bore, or rifled bores, or weapons designed, made, or intended to be fired from the shoulder and not capable of firing fixed ammunition.

Silencers or Suppressor

The term “Firearm Silencer” or “Firearm Muffler” means any device for silencing, muffling, or diminishing the report of a portable firearm, including any combination of parts, designed or redesigned, and intended for the use in assembling or fabricating a firearm silencer or firearm muffler, any part intended only for use in such assembly or fabrication. See 18 U.S.C., § 921(A)(24)

Destructive Devices

For the purposes of the National Firearms Act, the term “Destructive Device” means:

  • A missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than 1/4 oz.
  • Any type of weapon by whatever name known which will, or which may readily be converted to expel a projectile, by the action of an explosive or other propellant, the barrel or barrels of which have a bore greater than one-half inch in diameter.
  • A combination of parts designed and intended for use in converting a device into a destructive device and from which a destructive device can be readily assembled.

Exemptions to Destructive Devices:

  • a shotgun or shotgun shell which is determined by the Attorney General to be generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes.
  • a device which is neither designed nor redesigned for use as a weapon, a device which is designed or redesigned for use as a signaling, pyrotechnic, line – throwing, safety, or similar device,
  • surplus ordnance sold, loaded, or given by the Secretary of the Army pursuant to law such as antique, obsolete bronze or iron cannon,
  • a device which the Attorney General determines is not likely to be used as a weapon.
  • an antique firearm, or
  • a rifle which the owner intended to use solely for sporting purposes.See: 26 U.S.C. § 5845(F)

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